Anonymous asked in Society & CultureOther - Society & Culture · 5 months ago

how come people in the 1700's and 1800's that believed in scientific racism used such hilarious and silly explanations to describe races?

Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), the Swedish physician, botanist, and zoologist, he made these claims about races

The Americanus: red, choleraic, righteous; black, straight, thick hair; stubborn, zealous, free; painting himself with red lines, and regulated by customs.

The Europeanus: white, sanguine, browny; with abundant, long hair; blue eyes; gentle, acute, inventive; covered with close vestments; and governed by laws.[20]

The Asiaticus: yellow, melancholic, stiff; black hair, dark eyes; severe, haughty, greedy; covered with loose clothing; and ruled by opinions.

The Afer or Africanus: black, phlegmatic, relaxed; black, frizzled hair; silky skin, flat nose, tumid lips; females without shame; mammary glands give milk abundantly; crafty, sly, lazy, cunning, lustful, careless; anoints himself with grease; and governed by caprice


2 scientist from the 1700 and 1800's claimed, ***** pigmentation arose because of the heat of the tropical sun. They suggested cold wind caused the tawny colour of the Eskimos. They thought the Chinese relatively fair skinned compared to the other Asian stocks because they kept mostly in towns and were protected from environmental factors. Buffon said that food and the mode of living could make races degenerate and differentiate them from the original Caucasian race

Update 2:

Benjamin Rush (1745–1813), a Founding Father of the United States and a physician, proposed that being black was a hereditary skin disease, which he called "negr....o..idism", and that it could be cured. Rush believed non-whites were really white underneath but they were stricken with a non-contagious form of leprosy which darkened their skin color

Update 3:

another scientist by the name of meiners said

the ne...gro felt less pain than any other race and lacked in emotions. Meiners wrote that the Ne....gro had thick nerves and thus was not sensitive like the other races. He went as far as to say that the ***** has "no human, barely any animal, feeling".

Update 4:

Meiners wrote that the noblest race was the Celts. They were able to conquer various parts of the world, they were more sensitive to heat and cold, and their delicacy is shown by the way they are selective about what they eat.

Update 5:

Meiners claimed that Slavs are an inferior race, "less sensitive and content with eating rough food". He described stories of Slavs allegedly eating poisonous fungi without coming to any harm. He claimed that their medical techniques were also backward: he used as an example their heating sick people in ovens, then making them roll in the snow.[36].

Update 6:

this stuff is incredibly archaic and racist.

but I admit that its hilarious in the way they describe people LOL

and I'm not even white and take zero offense to it

Update 7:

natives are stubborn, zealous and paint himself with red lines?? LOL

asians are haughty, yellow, greedy, melancholic with loose clothings?? LOL

europeans are governed by laws, inventive, sanguine, abundant?? LOL

blacks are relaxed, frizzy, lazy, females without shame?? glands that give milk abundantly? lustful? LMAO WTF???? HAHAH

Update 8:

I know this is incredibly archaic, but can you at least agree this is a bit humorous??? LMAO 

3 Answers

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    People in that era had a lot of strange beliefs. Terms like "choleriac", "melancholic" and "phlegmatic" were considered medical at the time and it wouldn't really be until well into the 19th century that these ancient misunderstandings of science were completely abandoned. Racism however persisted not so much based on those beliefs but based on socioeconomic class. There was a time in the US when a man of African ancestry could own a plantation and slaves and wasn't really considered "black". This was most profound in places like New Orleans which had a thriving black and mixed population of wealthy landowners who differentiated themselves from slaves simply by being rich.

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  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Because they did not know about DNA or chromosomes. All they had to go on was (often biased) observations.

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  • janhoi
    Lv 6
    5 months ago

    Because pseoo-science was prevalent during this time period. Scientific racism is a pseodo-scientific theory. The paradoxical irony is that these were the same people who promoted the age of enlightenment. So the age of reason was also the age of pseodo science at the same time.

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